Monthly Archives: May 2013
We just received a call from Fred’s brother at home (village)- Dad is very sick at home. Can’t move or speak. We’ve called a doctor who is going to the house to see and treat him. Fred is on his way to the village (2 hour drive) now to take Dad to the hospital in Kisumu. Please pray for complete healing.
During my first month at Agape, I was asked to write a biography for one of the boys who grew up at Agape. His name was Ishmael Sheban. Agape was trying to find a sponsor for him who would take him through University. Ishmael had finished High School last year and did exceptionally well. When I sat down with Ishmael, I started to hear his story…
He was kidnapped at age 6, worked as a slave for a few years by the man who kidnapped him and got into some trouble with the government. He went through a lot of changes and difficulty and at the end…ended up being raised at Agape.
Ishmael doesn’t know any family members. He has no one. Yet, he finds that he has all he needs through Christ.
Ishmael became good friends with one of our High School boys in our sponsorship program, who also has no family. So Ishmael was invited to come stay with his friend at Good News. Fred and I grew to know and love Ishmael. We walked him through a lot of his college application process and prayed with him that God would provide for all of his needs through a sponsor. Thankfully, Agape found a sponsor for him and Ishmael started school on Monday. Praise God.
Fred and I are not financially in the position to help Ishmael, but we had told we would help him in any way we could. Ishmael asked that we would to take him for his reporting date to school. He was thrilled when we agreed, otherwise he would have taken a bus across the country with everything he has. Even though we knew it wasn’t about transporting his stuff, but that he was, like anyone on their first day of college, nervous!
We left Kisumu at 7:00am and we arrived in Nakuru, at Kabarak University around noon, we parked and got his registration number, #179. Currently they were serving #62. In America that is a big gap, but in Kenya that is even a bigger gap! So Fred and I tried talking to some of the registers asking if we could be served earlier as we needed to travel back to Kisumu that afternoon (not safe to travel at night). One lady sounded like she could help us, so I went with Ishmael we sat down hoping to start the process. She looked at our papers and said great Ishmael has every paper he needs, just make sure you see the Financial Office and then you can go and Ishmael can go through the process by himself. He is a “big boy” he can do it alone she said.
I looked at Ishmael, saw the fear in his eyes and grabbed my papers and said no thank you, I will wait. Fred then booked a guest house that night so we could sleep in Nakuru and then travel the next day.
So we waited patiently until they reached #179, at 4:00pm. It wasn’t our plan to sleep there, but it was God’s plan. Ishmael needed to feel like he had parents, like he had family that cared for him. That didn’t leave him to walk through everything alone.
We walked him through the long process of registration day, got him settled in his room, met his roommates, took a tour of the campus and made him feel at home.
Even though we couldn’t give Ishmael anything physical, we believe God enabled to give Ishmael something that money can’t buy. We knew that God had called us to be there with him to make him feel not alone, to make him feel confident, to make him not feel like an orphan, to make him feel loved and cared for on his first day of college.
Please pray that Ishmael will get connected and continue to grow in a Christian community on campus.
When I attended the Awana training in Kenya in March, I was so excited to come back to Godo News to train our leaders.
The training opened my eyes to a lot of cultural understanding of children ministries in Kenya that had me a little worried on how I would be able to create a successful Awana leader team. Children in Kenya are often looked at secondly- the attitude towards children and even children in the church can be seen almost as a bother. I knew Good News leaders saw the important of children. However to create a leadership team that valued children and wanted to see Kenya’s next generation be transformed by the word of God, would be a challenge.
So never the less, we prayed. I trusted God that he would work in the hearts, because if children mattered to Jesus, we must see the importance and value in them in the church.
During our first training day, the first session was titled “The Importance of Children Ministry.” So I taught with authority and urgency on pouring into our young children and youth. At the end of teaching we divided into small discussion groups and I was amazed at the honesty that my leaders had. They were open, convicted and saw in the areas that they needed to grow in. I strongly believe that this leadership team will help bring the transformation that we need with our children.
I’m blessed that my leaders now believe in the importance of raising up children in the ways of the Lord, so they can too, have a relationship with Jesus. So they can too, have a better and promising future. So they can too, reach their parents who don’t know Christ. So they can too, challenge us in our faith as we strive to have child-like faith.
We have two more Saturday’s of training and then we will begin Awana in Kisumu the first week in June. Very exciting!
Please join us in prayer as we strive to change Kenya’s next generation with the word of God.
Thanks for your help, prayer, support and encouragement in doing this!
Today we celebrated the life of Fred as he celebrated his 31st birthday for the first time ever! When Fred and I got engaged we agreed that we wouldn’t base our marriage on one culture of the other. Of course in some situations one of our cultures is stronger than the other….and when it comes to birthdays, mine wins! 🙂 Not that it’s a competition or anything 😉
Fred turned 31 today, and it was the first time he ever recognized his birthday. He received a package from my parents this week for his birthday and asked me why it was so early, he had no idea his birthday was to be this Friday.
So I decided to make his birthday extra special…started with surprise balloons and gifts out of bed, then we headed to youth camp all day and we ate cake (another surprise). After camp was over for the day, we had all of our youth leaders over for dinner. It was a great celebration, filled with food, dancing and lots of laughter!
At the end of the night, everyone was insisting we do this for everyone’s birthday. They shared how it really helps unite us all as a church family. How true!
Today I’m thankful for Fred’s life that God has given him, and I celebrate that knowing that He has called him to a greater purpose for the glory of God.